It’s not as easy a question is it once was. Or maybe it was never easy. What I’ll try to do here is explain, as best I can, that leasing can definitely be the best solution for a lot of people, especially people like me, who still think that they’re young and innovative.First let’s create a scenario. Young people love Hondas, right? Let’s get one of those!For the sake of the scenario, I haven’t included all the costs of buying or leasing a car such as sales tax and so on, so please don’t quote me on these numbers. I’m just trying to cover the major pieces here.Buying:Buying a car either requires paying for the entire cost upfront (a sum too large for most people), or paying a down payment and then financing the rest of the cost over a loan term - usually 60 months or more.Let’s say I want to buy a new Honda Accord for $35,000. And let’s also say that I’ve just moved from a city with public transportation, so I don’t have a car to trade in. I’ll have to make a 10-20% down payment on the car, which will be $3,500 to $7,000. That’s a lot. I’m not rich, so I’ll be putting 10% down, or $3,500, which gives me a loan of $31,500. I’ll choose a 5-year, 60 month loan at 3.1%, let’s say. My monthly payments will be $567.Then, if we extend my payments over two years:$3,500 down payment+$13,608 (567x24)_________________________=$17,800I will have paid $17,800 over two years for my Honda Accord.Leasing:Now, for leasing a car, there are some upfront costs, but nowhere near the amount for purchasing. Some dealers require a down payment, and others don’t. Let’s just say I’m going to pay a down payment of $1,000. Now, a normal amount of depreciation for a Honda Accord would be around $9,000 over two years, which is most of what you’re paying for when you lease a vehicle. The monthly payment for leasing the Honda would be $445, assuming a 4.5% interest rate.So the total cost comes to:$1,000+$10,680__________=$11,680You guessed it, $11,680 is less than $17,800. In the first two years I’ll spend $6,120 less by leasing.Now, a wannabe young, influential person like myself has a lot of things to do with that $6,000. Like travel. Like take women out on dates and make them think that I make almost as much money as they do. Like rent a decent apartment where I’m not sharing it with 5 other guys and a girl who trains for UFC fighting. Like, if I just happen to feel like it, taking care of my responsibilities such as eventually paying off my student loans (but, hey, how am I gonna start conversations at the bar if I do that?). Or geez, maybe I could just save it and let my best friend, who chose a much better career, invest the money on my behalf. Whatever it is, it’s money that I wouldn’t have if I bought the car.On top of that, after those two years are over, it’s done! There’s no more car payments if I don’t want them. If I feel so inclined, I can lease a new car, just as easily as my nice, safe, Honda. Or, I can move on. Leasing saves me money, and saves me the stress of being stuck in car payments for up to 7 years. Financing cars is more and more like having a mortgage on a house that constantly loses value. I mean, the length of car loans has steadily increased in recent years. Over half of all car loans are for over 60 months, and one in five car loans are between 73 and 84 months.Long Term Leasing vs. BuyingIn the end, for the unpredictable lifestyles that many of us lead, and even for the predictable ones, leasing is a great option. The first two years of any car’s life is covered in warranties. As soon as the warranty is over, the lease is over. On the other hand, owning a car will inevitably end up in replacing parts and servicing the vehicle, all of which the warranty won’t cover.According to HowStuffWorks, the average family will spend over $800 a year on car maintenance, which is just the kind of stuff that would be covered in a lease.It’s up to you, but I’m leasing. And I’m leasing a Honda Accord.OptionsOnlineGoing into the dealershipOptions for where to lease:#1 Going into a dealership.It’s very possible to go into a dealership and get exactly what you want. It may not happen the first time you go, however. Do your research about the value of the car you’re interested in before going in. In that research be sure to include the potential residual value of the car after the lease term. That means figuring out how much the car will likely be worth after 2 years so that you can better negotiate the estimated depreciation, which can give you a better price. The dealers are trying to make money, so you have to be willing to work just as hard to make the lease work for you.Here’s some other good things to keep in mind when leasing from a dealership:Know your credit score and what you qualify for.Don’t pay too much up front (ideally nothing over $2000). In fact, sometimes you can get away with paying nothing up front. If anything happens in the first few months of the lease, all that up front money will be for nothing. Save the money for the monthly lease payments.Research gap insurance to avoid owing more than the car is worth.Really think about how many miles you’ll drive.Find out exactly what “normal wear and tear” is so that you can return the car and not owe more money.Don’t lease for too long. Two to three years is ideal. After that, the warranty is over and you may be paying for some expensive maintenance.#2 Leasing OnlineJust like with almost everything else in your life, you can lease a car online, which is frequently an easier and more pleasant experience than haggling with car salesmen. More and more sites are popping up with pretty objective information about getting the best deal on a leased car. And they’re all about making it easy on you. So, if you’re interested in leasing from your house, check out Carlease.com or Truecar.com. Again, it’s still a good idea to keep in mind all the information I listed above in the dealer section.Here’s some good things about going online:You can quickly and easily find multiple leasing options.There’s no pressure from a sales rep. Take your time!They can offer home delivery (both Carlease.com and Truecar.com offer home delivery)You can set the terms you want instead of arguing with somebody.Honestly, it’s much less of a pain in the neck to go online. Here is a link to Carlease.com where you can browse inventory and lease without having to set foot on a dealers lot.